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Features & Specs

Jeep Cherokee

Subaru Forester


2.4L Inline-4

2.5L Flat-4





9-speed automatic

Continuously Variable

Passenger Volume

128 cu.ft

112 cu.ft

Max Tow Rating

4,500 lbs

1,500 lbs

Jeep Cherokee vs Subaru Forester near Dundalk MD

There's nothing quite like coming to the end of Friday knowing you have the weekend for the freedom of your own plans and adventures, and it's understandable you'd want the most capable vehicle to get you where you're going.  Both the 2019 Jeep Cherokee and 2019 Subaru Forester have big reputations of escaping the regular and providing many drivers with extraordinary road trips and destinations.  Which SUV will best provide your adventure with unhindered possibility?  We're here to compare these vehicles' capabilities to ensure your weekend warrior spirit won't be squandered by an SUV that can't keep up with you.

Jeep Cherokee Power & Handling

The Jeep-brand capabilities and performance are legendary in the global market, and this thirst for outperforming the competition is apparent in the Cherokee's refreshed 2019 redesign.  The standard 2.4L four-cylinder brings you 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft torque, though this powertrain suits the remodeling's more urban focused application.  It's good for families and the daily commute, but stays most comfortable around the neighborhood.  For real strength and opportunity, you should pay attention to the 3.2L V6 option that's available throughout the Cherokee's lower trim models and standard on the specialized Trailhawk, Limited, and Overland.  This engine generates 271 horsepower and 239 lb-ft of torque, and comes with all Jeep's off-roading prowess.  For those who want a blend of these two engines, the also optional 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder is a good choice for matching urban savviness with higher grade performance.  Where the standard 2.4L can tow up to 2,000 pounds, this turbocharged four-cylinder matches the V6's tow rating of 4,500 pounds thanks to its improved 295 lb-ft of torque and 270 horsepower.  Every model but the Trailhawk comes in either FWD or AWD, and all are paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission.  For ultimate freedom, we recommend taking a look at the Trailhawk.  This is the Cherokee trim that'll take you above, though, over, and beyond, ready to trailblaze to your heart's content.  Its under-body skidplates, front and rear tow hooks, upgraded suspension, more aggressively tuned AWD system, available rock rails, drive lock, and low gear 4x4 drive modes engages every aspect of the Cherokee's system to expertly distribute torque and keep you moving forward over a load of obstacles and through up to 19 inches of waterfording.

Subaru Forester Power & Handling

The Forester, meanwhile, is powered forward by one engine option.  This is the 2.5L flat four-cylinder provided in every trim model, upgraded since the year prior to produce a better driving dynamic and performance.  For 2019, this engine provides drivers with 182 horsepower and 176 lb-ft of torque thanks to ninety-percent new parts and technologies.  The "flat" classification of this engine refers to Subaru's signature Boxer style builds, which orient cylinders parallel to the ground rather than at a traditional "V" angle.  All trims and engines are paired with a continuously variable transmission first developed out of Subaru.  Higher trims offer a manual drive mode that's channeled through steering wheel mounted shift paddles, which imitates a seven-speed automatic transmission.  All Foresters come in AWD.  With this, there comes two standard drive modes to personalize performance: a smoother Intelligent Mode and a speedier Sport Mode.  Higher trims provide X-Mode, which changes the intervention point of traction for better snow or dirt management.  Jeep, meanwhile, offers four standard drive modes, with an added fifth for the Trailhawk.  These include Auto, Sport, Snow, Mud/Sand, and Tow Modes.  While the 2019 Forester is good on roads and long journeys, despite its equal 8.7-inch ground clearance to the Cherokee, it only has light off-road capabilities and will struggle through thicker mud or deep snow.  Its limited to a 1,500-pound tow rating, and it lacks the turbocharged powertrain of years past.

Jeep Cherokee Features & Design

The 2019 Cherokee has been nicely refreshed, bringing an updated exterior style that's aesthetically reflective of the Grand Cherokee and smaller Compass.  There's a new front design that features compacted LED headlights in a slim housing, and the taillights have been reshaped to mirror their style to bring cohesion throughout the exterior elements.  The Trailhawk offers a more rugged demeanor with sharper angles, beefier all terrain tires, blacked-out detailing, and bright red tow hooks.  Inside, the 2019 sprucing up also brings new premium materials, comfort, and technology.  It's built simply and comprehensively, with an easy to learn operation including a revised dash layout with larger air outlets and more soft-touch materials.  The 128 cubic-feet of passenger volume provides ample spaciousness for front and rear seats alike, while the remodeling provides slightly greater cargo space than previous years with a 26 cubic-foot trunk.  It comes with seating for five upon premium cloth upholstery, and higher trims can upgrade to include greater adjustment points, lumbar support, heating/ventilation both front and back, and leather upholstery.  Every Cherokee receives the latest generation of the FCA's Uconnect technology built into their seven- or 8.4-inch radio touch display, which also includes Voice Connect Bluetooth, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay connectivity.  An audio jack and USB ports also come equipped for MP3 streaming.  Higher trims enhance this system with HD Radio, SiriusXM, and navigation.

Subaru Forester Features & Design

The Forester is built narrower yet longer than the Cherokee, with looks that don't stray very far from the stylizing of the previous generations.  Paired with the standard AWD, every Subaru comes equipped with front, side, and rear underguards, along with lower body cladding.  Roof rails are provided on every vehicle but base trim models, giving access to additional storage flexibility.  Only the Trailhawk supplies these on the Cherokee.  Inside, though the Forester is longer than the Jeep, it doesn't allow for better passenger space.  In fact, its smaller than the Jeep, only offering 112 cubic-feet of space for you and your guests.  Instead, it allots priority to cargo, providing a 76 cubic-foot trunk space.  The inside is less streamlined than that of the Cherokee's, being designed with sharp, angular lines and geometric shapes for the dash elements.  It comes with a standard outfitting of a 6.5-inch radio touch display that can be upgraded to an eight-inch model, both coming equipped with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.  Coming with cloth seats, later trims come with leather upholstery, greater adjustments, and heated seats.


The Jeep Cherokee has greater capability and more power than the Subaru Forester to get you practically anywhere you'd want to go on- and off-road.  The Forester is weak when it comes to all-terrain management despite its standard all-wheel drive, and its one powertrain doesn't compare to the power of the Cherokee's broader options.  Inside, the Cherokee tends to you and your passengers with greater comfort, while also providing a satisfying amount of cargo space in the trunk or with the rear-seat folded down.  If you're looking for an adventure vehicle that's ready to take to the trails and be your escape from the everyday experience, the 2019 Cherokee should be your pick.  For further information, you can look at the links below for specific reviews of the Jeep line.

Read Our Other Reviews

2019 Jeep Cherokee 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee 2019 Jeep Compass

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